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Posts Tagged ‘Church’

The Survey Says…

Posted by Nancy on July 6, 2008

The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, a short story by Mark Twain, had nothing on the Radiator Springs bullfrogs today.  Sean figured out how to catch them this evening and the kids had frog races to see which would get back to the pond first.

They are big, and they are fast.  The kids were screaming encouragement, and I think it was “Trevor” that won.  They had named the frogs, of course. 

The frog races were one of the last activities of our very busy, very satisfying day.

We started at 5:30 a.m. to get to the LDS church near Radiator Springs by 10:00 for the baby’s blessing.  Our extended family increased the attendance there by about 50%, and they were happy to have a pianist for Relief Society and more children for their Primary.  They are a strong branch with good members, but 23 additional people makes an impact on a small congregation.

Elaine is in the Primary presidency, so had to deal with the fallout from our being there.  That included W~ walking in, taking one look at her, and saying, “Why do you have to be here?”   From the mouths of babes…  Wonder if he had some mischief planned, or if he was just curious, or maybe felt sorry for her?

After church some of us went berry picking over by the creek and found two cherry trees with sweet yellow cherries, two varieties of mulberries, and several large thickets of black raspberries.  We ate as we picked and still managed to fill two containers with fruit.   While we were foraging others cooked dinner on the grill and got out the side dishes that had been brought; I made a blueberry buckle for dessert and we all ate till we were stuffed.

The cousins enjoyed playing together and had fun jumping on the trampoline, playing pool (as in, on a pool table), swimming in the pond, running foot races around the pond, riding bikes in the driveway, and “helping” Uncle Sean catch frogs.  Sean is excellent with little kids and had some of them croaking at the top of their lungs on the premise that it was attracting the frogs to them.  Too cute.

Most of the adults and some of the kids played games of Bananagrams and Apples to Apples, while a few lucky people managed to get naps.  Katie and Elaine captured highlights of the day on their cameras, and we all had plenty of time to just sit and relax together and talk. 

Such are the rewards that come after many years of raising children.  If you’re lucky they turn out to be people you enjoy spending time with; if you’re very lucky you may even become friends.

The weather was perfect, the whole family was together for the first time since Christams (well, all except H~ who is out of town), and it was a Norman Rockwell sort of day.  We all agreed we should do it again soon and set a date for the first weekend in August.  By the time Bud and I go home it was 11:00  p.m.

Now for the survey, and I really would appreciate thoughtful responses.  Especially from those who are familiar with the LDS faith, but not from anyone who was there today.

Which, if any, of the above activities break the Sabbath, and why?

Posted in Family, Mormon life | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »

Running A Tight Ship

Posted by Nancy on July 4, 2008


Organization is not my stongest suit.  It may not even be in my deck.

I received phone calls from three of my four children yesterday, asking what the plans are for Saturday and Sunday and what food they should bring on those days. 

I’m used to those calls, but they usually happen when we are having dinner at my house.  That is not happening this weekend, but I guess I’m still the point person for organizing.

That’s what happens when you give birth to more than one child.

Saturday is at Doug’s, with members of the Elders Quorum arriving at 7:30 to help them move into their new house.  Bud and I will be there to help (probably a little late), as will Matt and Elaine.  Drew is at his in-laws’ lake house for a couple days, and Katie and Sean are a maybe. 

Doug has so much faith in all his helpers that he has invited the family to a pool party at his soon-to-be-abandoned apartment  in the afternoon, with hot dogs on the grill for supper.  Maybe it will happen, since a lot has already been moved.

Sunday is at Elaine’s house, with church starting at 10:00 and the baby being blessed.  It will take us almost three hours to get to her branch, so it will be an early morning.  The entire family is showing up for this event (all 24 of us), and there is a pond party and cookout scheduled afterward. 

I am taking appropriate clothes and shoes to go out in the wild and pick berries, then help A~ make some jam.  I’m also taking my sewing machine to help S~ with a flag she needs to make for Girls Camp later this month. 

After calls all around, I think we have the food parcelled out for both days and have some idea of what is going on.  Mayhem.  Bedlam.  Lots of work, lots of fun, lots of faith, lots of family.

Just in case we don’t have enough to do for the weekend, Bud and I spent last evening at Lowe’s and bought a ceiling fan and light for the kitchen, to replace the light that lost its desire to shine forth last week.  I still hit that light switch every time I go into the kitchen, even though there are other lights, and it still hasn’t changed its mind and decided to start working again. 

While we have the ladder in the house to replace the light, we might as well repaint the kitchen ceiling, so we bought paint too.  Maybe we will get the bathroom ceiling done at the same time.  Maybe today will be a very busy day.

I’m scrubbing ceilings today and Bud is putting the light in, then going over to Katie’s to fix her dryer.  Then we paint.  I love to paint.

Busy weekend.  The best kind.  I had better get moving.

Posted in Family, Mormon life, Moving | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

No Particular Place To Go

Posted by Nancy on June 1, 2008

Sundays are quieter since Elaine and Matt moved to suburban Radiator Springs.

Sunday dinners used to involve at least six adults and eight kids every week, but now we are down to four adults and four kids most of the time.  Today it was just two adults – Bud and me.  Doug doesn’t have his kids this weekend and Katie’s kids all have colds.

While I miss seeing the kids every week, the quiet is nice too.  Just so it doesn’t get too frequent and we all get together for dinner at least once or twice a month.

Today was Fast and Testimony meeting in church where anyone can stand up during services and say whatever they want.  It is supposed to relate to their testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but that isn’t always the case. 

Or as Matt and Elaine call it, open mic Sunday.  They used to attend an inner-city branch with some members who were,crazy, senile, mentally impaired, colorful, and you never knew what you were going to hear.  Thus the undoubtedly sacrilegious designation they gave it, which continues to stick. 

What would you call it when someone wearing a prayer shawl and yarmulke claims to be a Jewish prophet responsible for maintaining peace in the middle east?

Ours was a nice service with some touching testimonies today, and it gave the congregation an opportunity to gain spiritual strength from one another.  I was glad to see Lisa there; her health problems have kept her away for a long time but I still consider her the best visiting teacher I have ever had.

I finished reading Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister this evening.  It is so much better written than the Stephenie Meyer books, but I can’t say it was any more enjoyable to read.  The Meyer books are grating in their repetition of the same words and phrases over and over and over (will somebody please buy the woman a thesaurus?), while this one exercises and expands your vocabulary skills.  Still, as a variation on the Cinderella theme you know where the story is heading and I got anxious to get there, to see how the plot was going to unwind.  It definitely had some unique twists on the story.  Katie has several more by the same author, so I may try Wicked or one of the others next.

I am so grateful for Sundays and the opportunity to have a day of rest.  There is no guilt about a nap on Sunday, or taking time reading.  Life is so hectic this island of relaxation is a welcome relief.

I need to spend more of my reading time on scriptures, though.

Posted in Books | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Down Days Aren’t Always Bad

Posted by Nancy on May 26, 2008

When’s the last time you had a real “down day?”  I am having one today and am enjoying it thoroughly.

“Down days” aren’t always “depressing days.”  No, sometimes they are days taken off from all the normal worries and obligations of life.  They are days when you just hibernate with a good book and vegetate, or maybe do a little work in the garden.  Nothing strenuous, nothing necessary – just relaxing.

After all the commotion with three extra adults and seven extra kids here this weekend, not to mention Katie’s family in and out, I needed a down day.  Wow, today has been the best one in a long time.

Elaine brought down the Stephenie Myers books and I read Twilight Friday and Saturday evening (does 2:00 a.m. count as evening?).  I started Eclipse last night and finished it this morning.  They are easy reads and once you get into them hard to put down.  Vampires and werewolves aren’t my normal fare, but she tells a good story.  Since she’s an LDS writer the gore is only referred to obliquely; ditto for swearing. except a few mild epithets, and no sex.  How easy is it to find books like that nowdays?  I told Elaine to take the third one back because I didn’t think I would have time to read it before I go to Doug’s tomorrow, where S~ has them, but wish now I had told her to leave it.

So, I am enjoying them, but I have to admit I am not as entranced with these books as Elaine and apparently millions of other women are.  I guess I’ll have to chalk that up to age – the heroine is in high school, after all.  I “get it” with the concept of a perfect love, yet the analytical part of my mind keeps wondering and wandering.   A few holes that I just can’t rectify keep nagging.  Why do I have to over-analyze it instead of just enjoying it?

Oh well, as I said it must be age – way too many years since I was in high school and feeling the pangs of first love.  Didn’t we all think our first love was the perfect one for us, no matter how flawed they were in hindsight? 

Anyway, like I said, good books.  I will read Eclipse at Doug’s on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, E~’s blessing in church yesterday was very sweet, and it was wonderful to have most of my family there.  Bud even went without being asked, which was a surprise.  He doesn’t join, but on some level he believes.

Then I got to talk with Drew and Kelli for about two hours last night.  He has three more weeks till he graduates and moves back to the area, and I will be flying to Utah in two weeks for the wedding and will get to see them then.  Time is flying.

S~ and I spent time yesterday making jewelry for her and Z~ to wear to the wedding.  I bought a good selection of beads to match the bride’s colors and we made bracelets, necklaces, and earrings.  I still need to get with H~ and have her design some. 

H~ is having a difficult time with life right now, and I hope once the wedding and move are behind them she settles back down.  She has been struggling the hardest for quite awhile now, trying to keep everything “fair” to the last millisecond as far as time spent with her mom and dad and trying to organize her mom’s life and responsibilities.  She is compartmentalizing her distress over her mom’s lifestyle from her defense of her mom, and is leaving herself out of the equation.  Every now and then the facade slips and she says something insightful and profound, but then she puts it right back up.  My greatest concern is she seems to be considering turning away from the church since all her mother’s family condemns the church for being “judgmental.”  No matter that what they are telling her isn’t true – she can’t afford to acknowledge the truth or it will force her to re-analyze some of her positions, and she can’t do that.  It is unsettling.

The most promising part of the equation is how well she and Lolly got along when Lolly was here.  The kids are spending two weeks in Utah with Lolly and her family in June – the week before the wedding with Doug there too, then the week of the honeymoon.  There will be 15 new aunts/uncles and their spouses and kids, including 50 new cousins. 

More love, more prayers, more guidance.


Posted in Family, Wedding | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »


Posted by Nancy on May 25, 2008

We celebrated Memorial Day today in my hometown.  I didn’t make it to the parade, though.

There is always a parade from the elementary school to the cemetery, with a ceremony honoring those who have served and sacrificed in our country’s military.  It is a moving tribute, and a slice of small town America. 

My greatest memory of that parade, and it is a cherished memory, is of my Dad attending it with us the year Mom died.  He was weak from new grief and from cancer, but stood at attention and commented that the color guard didn’t turn their corners quite as sharply as he had been taught during his service in World War II.  He had such dignity, especially on that day.  I miss them both.

Today I was just too otherwise-occupied to make it to the parade, though.

Elaine and Matt are down for the weekend with the kids, and Doug came down this afternoon with two of his.  Katie and Sean came over with their kids and we had the traditional family cookout.  It was warm enough to set everything up outside, but not so warm as to be uncomfortable.

Tomorrow Katie and Sean are having E~ blessed in sacrament meeting, and Doug and Matt will stand in the circle with Sean.  What a blessing to have all my children and their spouses worthy to participate in ordinances of the church, and grandchildren growing up in the gospel.  As a convert with a non-member husband, I am grateful that they all have stayed so close to the gospel, and hope that Doug’s marriage to Lolly next month helpt him in keeping his children close as well.

Doug was house-hunting this morning and thinks he has found “the one” for them.  Looks like he is going to put an offer in on it.  One more brick in the foundation of getting life back to normal after his divorce and all the attendant fallout.

One more brick in getting my life back to normal too, although I am beginning to sense that what I used to consider normal and what the new “normal” will be are two entirely different things.  Too many people have made too many changes and things will never be the same.

Posted in Family | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Protected: Day of Rest

Posted by Nancy on March 16, 2008

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